FROM THE RECTOR: JOYFUL TRIDUUM
Father Jay Smith and I went out into Times Square about twenty minutes before 11:00 AM on Palm Sunday. There’s construction everywhere, lots of equipment in the roads. The procession made it into and around the square thanks especially to a few of our fearless ushers. The more limited space wasn’t a problem, perhaps it even helped. I can’t remember a more joyful Palm Sunday.
As we were coming back to the church a couple of cabs passed us and their drivers waved palms at us—I presume they were not too upset by being stopped while the procession crossed Seventh Avenue. A few bikers did the same. For a couple of days fallen palms in the square have reminded those who saw them and knew what they were that this was Holy Week. The joy, though of a different kind, a joy of faith, continued in the Mass of the Passion.
I remember being a little surprised during my first year in seminary when in our preparation for Holy Week Father Louis Weil reviewed the Good Friday Liturgy with my class. Among other things, he drew our attention to the antiphon for the first anthem sung during the veneration of the cross. On Good Friday we have an Easter antiphon:
We glory in your cross, O Lord,
and praise and glorify your holy resurrection;
for by virtue of the cross
joy has come into the whole world.
(The Book of Common Prayer  281)
Getting to joy is part of the Christian journey—and arriving and remaining there is not always easy. For all of its blessings, life too often is uncertain and short; there’s still enough sin in the world to do great evil. We believe Christians face life and death with faith, hope, love and joy. We are in the world, but not of the world. Jesus’ last words in John’s gospel to the women and men at the supper before the Passover are these, “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
It was Jeffrey Lee, now bishop of Chicago, then canon to the ordinary of the diocese of Northern Indiana, who wondered aloud to me before my first Holy Week as rector of Trinity Church, Michigan City, Indiana, what it would be like if the people took the role of Jesus when we proclaimed the passion. Well, we tried it there and ever since I’ve never thought twice about it. It just makes so much sense. The People of God are members of the Body of Christ—not Pilate, Peter, the crowd, the high priests, chief priests, maids, Pilate’s wife, centurion or mocking crowd. Knowing who we are in Christ can helps us enormously whenever we may seem to be losing or think we have lost our way. We live in him.
The Paschal Triduum begins with the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday, April 17, and concludes with Solemn Paschal Evensong & Benediction on Easter Day, April 20. I hope you and I will be surprised with new joy at hearing the Good News that the Lord has risen indeed. Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Sharon, Sara, Charles, Kathleen, Barbara, Ben, Priscilla, Sylvia, Kenny, David, Rick, Gloria, Jack, Takeem, Linda, Darius, Arpene, Hugh, priest, Paulette, priest, and Harry, priest; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Mark and Alex . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . April 20: 1872 Sarah Ellen Carr; 1886 Henry Dennison Keep; 1894 John Boo; 1900 Josephine S. Cowan; 1928 George Yeager; 1932 Jacob J. Roper; 1965 Sydney Victor Callard Scruby; 1972 Florence O'Gorman.
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE . . . April 17, Maundy Thursday, Sung Matins 8:30 AM & Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper 6:00 PM . . . April 18, Good Friday, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Celebration of the Passion of Our Lord 12:30 PM & 6:00 PM . . . April 19, Holy Saturday, Sung Matins 8:30 AM & Great Vigil of Easter 7:00 PM . . . April 20, Easter Day, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Mass with Hymns 9:00 AM & 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM, Organ Recital 4:30 PM, Solemn Paschal Evensong 5:00 PM.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Christian Education for adults and children will not meet on Easter Day, April 20 . . . Monday, April 21, Easter Monday, the church is open from 8:00 AM until 6:30 PM, the parish office is open, only the noonday services are offered . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will not meet on April 23 . . . Confessions on Saturday, April 19, and on Saturday, April 26, are by appointment only. Confessions will be heard by the parish clergy after the Good Friday liturgies.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Last weekend, parishioner Charles Carson was admitted to Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark for tests. Please keep him in your prayers . . . We have received a donation to fund the reception after the Easter Vigil. We are grateful to all those who are supporting these ministries during Eastertide . . . We are grateful to organist Elizabeth Hung Wong for coming to Saint Mary’s to play the 9:00 AM service on Palm Sunday and the 9:00 and 10:00 AM Masses on Easter Day . . . Mark Peterson, interim music director and organist will be away from the parish from Monday, April 21, until Sunday, April 27. He returns on Monday, April 28. Dr. David Hurd will play the services during his absence . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 409.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . The Adult-Education class will resume next week, when Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins will begin a three-part series (Sunday, April 27, May 4, and May 11), entitled Readings in Poetry Inspired by the Bible, from Genesis through Revelation. Rebecca writes, “Perhaps Milton got it right when he wrote, ‘There are no songs comparable to the songs of Zion;/no orations equal to those of the prophets;/and no politics like those which Scriptures teach’; and Ezra Pound, who once said that T.S. Eliot preferred Moses to Muses, certainly had a point. On these three Sundays in Eastertide we will make our way from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century, through and into some prime examples of poems that are clearly in relationship to scriptural passages, the latter always being our starting point.”
MUSIC THIS WEEK . . . Maundy Thursday: The setting of the Mass is the Missa syllabica (1977/1996) by Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt (b. 1935). Pärt, a major proponent of the minimalist movement of composition, has enjoyed enormous popularity for his powerful, but often stark, works. Since about 1976, Pärt has composed in a style he calls tintinnabuli (“little bells”), a technique which considers two simultaneous voices as one line moving at different intervals. This is one of two memorable Masses by Pärt that the choir has presented this season. The anthems at the footwashing are the plainsong settings as adapted by David Hurd and Bruce Ford. The offertory song is the best-known of the set of Four Motets by Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986), Ubi caritas . . . Good Friday: The music of Good Friday (and for most of the Triduum, in fact) comes from the church’s ancient chants appointed for the day. The tract before the Passion narrative is sung to a setting by Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548–1611), and it is a setting of the Solemn Reproaches by the same composer that will be heard during the Veneration of the Cross. This great priest-composer of the late Spanish Renaissance demonstrates his extraordinary capacity for great expressiveness within a setting of simple homophonic writing . . . The Great Vigil of Easter: The setting of the Mass ordinary is the Missa Paschalis of Orlande de Lassus (1532–1594). Born in what is present day Belgium, de Lassus traveled widely, gaining much experience along the way before landing in Naples, where he began to compose in earnest. In 1551 he was appointed organist and maestro di cappella at the Church of Saint John Lateran in Rome. Though he remained at this post for only three years, it is here that he is thought to have composed the beautifully constructed Mass that graces this liturgy. Well over 2000 compositions have been attributed to de Lassus, making him one of the most prolific composers of all time. At the ministration of Communion, the choir sings the motets Dic nobis Maria by Giovanni Bassano (c. 1558–1617). A composer of the Venetian School, Bassano wrote motets and concerti ecclesiastici (“sacred concertos”) in the polychoral style as well as madrigals and canzonettas . . . Easter Day: The brilliant work of Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594) frames this Paschal weekend. Lassus was a Franco-Flemish composer of considerable influence and achievement. His first known position was in the service of Ferrante Gonzaga, who passed through the Low Countries in 1544 on his way to Italy. By 1553 de Lassus was choirmaster at Saint John Lateran in Rome, remaining only a short time before returning to his homeland. His career from 1556 was centered in Munich at the court chapel of Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria. While employed at Munich, he came to know both Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli, each of whom spent time in the musical establishment he directed. In return, the Gabrielis informed de Lassus in the polychoral style that is so perfectly exemplified by the Mass setting we hear at the Solemn Mass on Easter morning. De Lassus's production of over 2,000 works in nearly every genre known in his time places him among the most prolific and versatile composers of any age. His approximately 530 motets include many religious works and ceremonial pieces, and almost sixty Masses of undoubted attribution survive to this day. At the ministration of Holy Communion on Easter Day we will hear a modern work utilizing an old text by Quentin Faulkner (b. 1942). Recently retired as a faculty member of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL), Mr. Faulkner is a product of Westminster Choir College and Union Theological Seminary, here in New York. Both Mr. Faulkner and his wife were widely regarded for their work in church music, and for a unique course in church music formulated at UNL. Ad Regias Agni Dapes (“At the Lamb’s High Feast”) is but one of several fetching motets by Mr. Faulkner printed by Paraclete Press . . . Solemn Paschal Evensong: Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852–1924) was an Irish composer, educator, and conductor. Born to a highly musical family in Dublin, Stanford was educated at the University of Cambridge before studying music in Leipzig and Berlin. While still an undergraduate, Stanford was appointed organist of Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1882, at the age of twenty-nine, he was one of the founding professors of the Royal College of Music, where he taught composition for the rest of his life. Among his pupils were rising composers whose fame went on to surpass his own, including Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams. As a conductor, Stanford held posts with the Bach Choir and the Leeds triennial music festival. Best remembered for his choral works for church performance, Stanford was skeptical of modernism, and deeply devoted to the Anglican tradition. His many communion services and settings of the evening canticles have made him a standard bearer for church music, even in this country, and it is his Evening Service in B-flat that we hear on Sunday evening. Mark Peterson
AIDS WALK 2014 . . . This year, the Saint Mary’s AIDS Walk Team thinks it’s important that our community knows more about where their donations go. Be sure to check this space every week for a new statistic about the AIDS Walk and the organization that benefits from it, GMHC (“Gay Men’s Health Crisis”). And please donate to our team here! . . . Did you know? GMHC’s drop-in center for youths ages 13 to 19 offers workshops on health, HIV prevention, managing finances, and job interview skills. GMHC offers an on-site computer lab, HIV and STI testing, and opportunities to help develop social marketing campaigns.
VISUAL ARTS PROGRAM . . . The work of Steve Pauley is now on view in the gallery in Saint Joseph’s Hall. Steve currently lives and works in Brooklyn. He earned his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. He received his BA degree from West Virginia State University and an MA degree from Marshall University. Steve’s work bridges sculpture with photography, printmaking, painting, installation and performance—with innovative skills evolving organically from his work as a headstone carver and a photography teacher. He explores engraving anamorphic images into polished granite, which he then projects onto a wall by reflecting light off the stone’s surface. Most recently, in a continued studio exploration of the proverbial rabbit hole, Steve is shredding and pulping scraps of unwanted paper and creating casts of his relief sculptures. The patterns are of graffiti he transcribes from the streets of Brooklyn into stone slabs.
PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDAR . . . Monday, April 28, Saint Mark the Evangelist (transferred) . . . Saturday, May 17, Consecration of Suffragan Bishop-Elect Allen Shin . . . Sunday, May 18, AIDS Walk 2014 . . . Thursday, May 29, Ascension Day, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM, Bishop Allen Shin, celebrant and preacher.
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The collection at the Maundy Thursday liturgy is entirely for those in need. This year donations will go to AIDS Walk 2014 and to the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry . . . Outreach teams from the Common Ground Initiative have been working with those who are homeless, and who have been seeking shelter here at Saint Mary’s, to help the homeless to move off of the streets and into more stable living situations. We heard this week from another of our friends that he had found a living situation with roommates and would not, he hoped, have to sleep on the streets. We are grateful for Common Ground’s assistance . . . The weather is beginning to warm, but donations of warm clothing, as well as new, unopened packets of underwear and socks, especially white cotton socks are still needed. We also welcome donations of: hand sanitizer; granola bars; applesauce, sold in small, plastic cups with peel-off tops; water; peanut butter and crackers; and other small items that can be packed in bags for distribution to those who are homeless . . . The Holy Cross School and its Scholarship Fund at Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery, Grahamstown, South Africa, a house of the Anglican Order of the Holy Cross. Donations may be made c/o Brother Robert Sevensky, OHC, Superior, Holy Cross Monastery, PO Box 99, West Park, NY 12493. When making a donation, it would be helpful if you could let the brothers know that you heard about the school through Saint Mary’s. James Ross Smith
AWAY FROM THE PARISH . . . Saint Marians may recall the work of Beatriz Elorza, which was exhibited last year in the gallery in Saint Joseph’s Hall. Her work in that show drew the attention of a gallery here in Manhattan. Beatriz’s work is now on view at the Spanierman Modern Gallery, 625 West Fifty-fifth Street, New York City. The exhibit is entitled “Breathing Color” and continues until April 23. For more information, please visit the gallery’s website. Beatriz is a talented artist and a lovely person. We wish her continued success.